With increasing integration of the world and fast advancing technology, managing diversity and building capability to deal with disruptive technologies of the future are foremost challenges for the human resource professionals of today, experts opined at an HR conclave here on Thursday.
"Whether we see it as a disruption or opportunity, technology has changed lives forever and HR professionals have to be tuned to adapt to the changing world," said Dayanand Allapur, vice president and head of human resources, Capagemini Business Services, at the Jindal Global Business School Second HR Conclave 2015.
Just by looking at how the smartphone and flooding of apps have changed the way people read or buy their clothes, displacing thousands of people from their traditional business set up in the process, can explain how disruptive technology can be, Allapur noted.
Adapting to new-age technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence is the need of the hour, he pointed out at the conclave themed "Managing the three Es - Expectations, Employees and E (electronic)-space".
Disruptive also refers to the paradigm shift that the HR professionals are currently experiencing due to the changing technologies and market needs, Chaitali Mukherjee, managing principal, leadership and talent consulting practice, Korn Ferry India, said at the event.
Similarly, managing diversity in the workforce in terms of gender, age or nationality are some of the other challenges for the HR professionals of today, said Deepak Chawla, head, human resource, Reliance Infrastructure.
Being the custodian of an organisation's culture, HR professionals today face the huge challenge of offering "customised approach" to fulfill the needs of the employees with different culture and capabilities, suggested Sandeep Chaudhary, practice leader, compensation consulting, Asia Pacific, Aon Hewitt.
Thus the emerging interactive and innovative technologies are changing the role of HR professionals without diminishing their importance, Sanjeev Sahni, principal director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences (JIBS), said.
"HR is business. It is a strategic partner of the organisation and plays a vital role in its growth," Sahni noted.
"HR is the face of an organisation and it should be seen not as a cost but as an investment," he pointed out.
However, the HR professionals of today and the future must shun the lure of focusing too much on money-making, cautioned Professor C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University.
Addressing the inaugural session of the conclave well attended by HR thought leaders of the industry, he said that the HR department should guard against the deterioration of the ethical edifice of the organisation.
"Organisations of the future will be judged by their ethical standards," he said.